TORONTO -- Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan had surgery Tuesday to repair a "significant tear" in his rotator cuff and improve range of motion in his pitching shoulder. He will not resume throwing for four to six months.
"I think he's relieved in the sense that he finally understands where the pain is coming from and that was something we weren't sure [about]," Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "They were able to find it and get it fixed. Hopefully he can come back and be the guy he once was."
McGowan was pitching with a partially torn rotator cuff when he left a July 8, 2008, start against Baltimore because of pain in his shoulder. He had surgery to repair a frayed labrum later that month and has not pitched in the majors since.
His comeback was further delayed last July when he had surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee.
Dr. James Andrews performed the operation Tuesday, which was originally supposed to simply improve range of motion. The rotator cuff tear was a new injury.
"We've found, potentially, the root of maybe what some of the problems have been," Anthopoulos said. "More than anything else, there's a bit more clarity, a little bit more direction.
"We're optimistic that he'll be able to come back and we'll continue to work with him once he starts throwing."
The 28-year-old McGowan has a career record of 20-22 with a 4.71 ERA. He missed all but six games of the 2004 minor league season because of elbow ligament replacement surgery.